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George Will — A counter for hysterics in Michigan

Robert Griffin, now 90, who rose to be second in the Republican U.S. Senate leadership, was defeated in 1978. Since then, only one Michigan Republican, Spencer Abraham in 1994, has been elected to the Senate and for only one term. Evidence that former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land might end this GOP drought is that Democrats are attacking her for opposing “preventive health care.”

Doing something about ocean acidification

A 2010 Yale University poll found that 1 percent of Americans knew a lot about ocean acidification (OA), 6 percent knew something and the rest of us knew little or nothing at all. Had that poll focused exclusively on Washingtonians, I believe we would have scored much higher. We were the first state to understand that it was the arrival of acidic, or low-pH, seawater along our coast that devastated our shellfish industry starting in 2005. We were the first state to take action against OA. And importantly, this threat to our state’s economy, culture and way of life has generated strong reporting and statewide media coverage.

George Will — Jeb Bush’s challenge

The human kindling that makes up the flammable Republican base may soon burst into flames, again. Portions of that excitable cohort are looking — some with fawn-like eyes filled with hurt, others with sparks shooting from eyes narrowed like gun slits — askance at other Republicans urging Jeb Bush to seek the 2016 presidential nomination.

E.J. Dionne — Who cares about the value of work?

Finding a way out of our current political impasse requires some agreement on what problems we need to solve. If anything should unite left, center and right, it is the value of work and the idea, in Bill Clinton’s signature phrase, that those who “work hard and play by the rules” ought to be rewarded for their efforts.

E.J. Dionne — The pope isn’t a party boss

President Obama’s first salary as a community organizer was paid by a Catholic group and his earliest social justice work was rooted in Catholic social doctrine. He identified with Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, then Chicago’s archbishop, whose consistent ethic of life encompassed a dedication to the poor, a concern over the human costs of war, and opposition to the death penalty.

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Clearing the air on marijuana

As you are likely aware, Washington is one of the first two states in the nation to pass a law (Initiative 502) legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. The passage of this law will bring about many changes in the way that our communities deal with and are affected by marijuana use.

George Will — The benefits of prudence

In September 1958, a future columnist, then 17, was unpacking as a college freshman when upperclassmen hired by tobacco companies knocked on his dormitory door, distributing free mini-packs of cigarettes. He and many other aspiring sophisticates became smokers. Six years later — 50 years ago: Jan. 11, 1964 — when the Surgeon General published the report declaring tobacco carcinogenic, more than 40 percent of American adults smoked. Today, when smoking is considered declassee rather than sophisticated, fewer than one-fifth do.